Experts Predict US Coronavirus Outbreak Could Be Over By July
America's coronavirus crisis could be over by the end of July, a new model predicts.
It comes as several states - including New York, which has become both the national and international epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic begin to gradually reopen.
Collaborating Researchers at the University of Texas at Houston and Fudan University in China estimate that the US epidemic peaked on April 24 and will reach 1,551,901 by its conclusion at the end of July.
But that model, which is online at MedRxiv.org, but hasn't yet been peer-reviewed assumes that the restrictions to ensure social distancing and slow the spread of coronavirus remain in place.
If restrictions are relaxed by as much as 40 percent, the researchers predict that the epidemic will drag on for another month and infect twice as many Americans, ultimately striking 3,083,138.
In a country already highly polarized over politics, coronavirus has driven a new division.
The rift now is whether the economic consequences of keeping the nation largely shut down are greater or lesser than the public health consequences of reopening and inevitably allowing the virus to spread.
Mathematical models like those created by UT and Fudan scientists allow these various scenarios to play out on paper and give a rough estimate of fallout.
The researchers estimated that if restrictions were kept in place - meaning that Americans stay home if they're non-essential workers, wear masks in public, remain socially distance and largely isolated - the US would hit the peak of its cases on April 24.
Indeed, the US hit its highest number of infections in a single day on April 24, with 27,238 new cases diagnosed, according to tracking site 1point3acres.com, with a cumulative 928,464 cases by that date (about 28,000 more than the UT and Fudan scientists predicted).
If the US could keep up the current measures that long, the epidemic might be over altogether by July 31, with a total 1,551,901 infections.
But a few states began allowing businesses like hair salons and tattoo parlors to start reopening last week.
Even in New York, which has nearly 27 percent of all cases in the US, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that parts of the state could begin slowly reopening as soon as this week (although that will not be the case for New York City, which has been hardest hit).
'Public health interventions such as city lockdowns, traffic restrictions, quarantines, contact tracing, canceling gatherings and school closure will slow down the spread of Covid-19,' the study authors wrote.
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